Hair Trend of The Month: Everything You Need To Know About French Balayage

Let’s begin with a blast from the past, shall we? Back in the 1970’s, the French  aesthetic revolved around all things groovy with knee-high boots and floral silhouettes taking the lead. The one trend that ruled them all? Balayage! 


Derived from the french expression “to paint”, balayage is a hair colouring technique that has changed the world of hair colouring forever.  Before balayage hair colour, women spent hours on the salon chair, heads loaded with aluminium foils and in a half-nap state. But once the technique started to gain popularity among hairstylists and celebrities alike, it became one of the most desirable colouring treatments to ever exist. Why? The answer is simple - it gives you natural-looking, almost sun-kissed hair. 


How is balayage different from highlights?

Unlike highlights, the colour is applied with a brush in a freehand technique, on just the gut feeling of the hairstylist, who decides on the placement and transitions of the hair colours involved. And even though the technique was first invented by French colourists back in the 1970s, it holds a lot of promise for modern fashionistas looking for fabulously coloured hair!

Having said all that, there are still many who struggle to understand what the hair trend is all about. This is why we picked some of the most pressing questions about balayage hair and answered them below.


Even though balayage looks like highlights, it differs in some key aspects. While highlights are created by putting sections of hair in foil or meche, balayage is more freehand and doesn’t involve the sectioning of hair at all. Because of this main difference, highlights come out as statement stripes on you, rather than the more natural-looking and softer look of the balayage. Also, the casual dyeing approach of balayage gives your stylist more room to experiment with the placement of the colour, framing your face perfectly in the process.

Types of French Balayage

Even though soft blonde and caramel balayage are classic, there has been a lot of innovation in the technique. For instance, if you do not like flat colour fill, the 3-D balayage technique can add more dimensions to it. Instead of using just one colour, two colours are used - with one being a shade darker - to add more depth to the free-flowing colour. The technique also adds more shadows to your mane, making it look thicker and a lot more voluminous when compared to virgin hair.

The Right Way To Get French Balayage

There are a couple of benchmarks with balayage, to make sure that it has been done properly. If you are headed to get a balayage colour done, read on to these tips below: 

  • Balayage pieces on the hair should be close to each other, starting subtle at the roots and thickening as you go down to the tips.
  • Balayage colour should be focused on just the surface of chosen sections, and not applied through and through.
  • The colour should appear soft, have the right lift and be devoid of any brassy, orange tones. This requires the use of the right quality of products and getting the timing just right.
  • The flow of the colour should be uniform, and a patchy balayage outcome is a sign that the lifting/bleaching process has gone wrong.

Fret not if your balayage doesn’t turn out right - all you need is a bit of colour correction and it can be fixed. Fixes can range from root melts to toning shampoos that either add brightness or darken the colour, and a professional can assess the damage and fix it to get the desired result.

If you’re looking for more such tips, you can check out - Top 5 Insta-worthy Hairstyles You’ve Been Looking For.

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